Kamis, 27 November 2014

GOLKAR WARNED OF SPLIT IF CONFLICT ESCALATES

 By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, Nov 27 (Antara) - A political observer warned on Thursday that the internal conflict within the Golkar Party could create a breakaway faction if it continued to escalate.
         "If Golkar does not act wisely and accommodate its cadres' aspirations in the run-up to its congress, it will be abandoned by them," political observer Ahmad Atang of the University of Muhammadiyah in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara, said on Thursday.
         The current rift within the Golkar Party, which is the second largest seat holder in the legislature, will most likely create a breakaway faction. It will lead to the formation of a new political party after its national congress in Bali on November 30, Atang stated.
         "The new party will most likely be set up by cadres who felt sidelined, a similar scenario that took place in the cases of Surya Paloh, Wiranto, and Prabowo Subianto," he added.
         The central executive board meeting of the Golkar Party early this week was marred by clashes, following the emergence of two camps that had a difference of opinion regarding the date of the next congress.
         While one camp agreed to the decision taken at a Golkar leadership meeting in Riau to hold the congress in January 2015, the other demanded that the meeting be held on November 30, as discussed at a leadership meeting in Yoyakarta.

Rabu, 26 November 2014

GOVERNMENT TO CURB INFLATION CAUSED BY FUEL PRICE HIKE

By Andi Abdussalam   
          Jakarta, Nov 27 (Antara) - The government and the country's central bank, Bank Indonesia (BI) will take all necessary steps to ensure that the inflation rate stays between 7.3 and 7.7 percent after the recent hike in subsidized fuel prices.
         "We forecast that the inflation rate will hover between 7.7 and 8.1 percent. Of course, we are doing our best to achieve an inflation rate of 7.7 percent," BI Governor Agus Martowardojo stated on Wednesday.
         The BI governor has forecast that the inflation rate in November will soar as a result of the hike in the prices of subsidized fuels, and in December, it will increase by 2.0 percent.
         The BI's inflation estimate of 7.7-8.1 percent in 2014 is higher than the government's projection of 7.3 percent as the subsidized fuel price hikes are expected to contribute 2.4-2.8 percent to the inflation rate.
         Some 1.3 percent of the estimated 2.6 percent is a direct contribution due to the increase in the prices of subsidized fuel oils, while some 0.7 percent is an indirect contribution in the form of increased transportation cost and 0.6 percent is a result of the food, services, and goods price hikes, he stated.
         Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro is content with the government's efforts to curb the inflation rate at 7.3 percent, in spite of the several higher projections.
         "In essence, we are resolved to control inflation, so that it would be in the range between 7.3 percent and 7.5 percent at the end of the year," the finance minister noted.
         He explained that while making the projection, the government has taken into account the impact of fuel oil price hikes, which are expected to contribute 2.0 percent to the inflation. It has also taken into consideration the inflation assumption set in the revised 2014 state budget at 5.3 percent.

EFFORTS TO FIGHT DRUG TRAFFICKING SHOULD BE INTENSIFIED

 By Andi Abdussalam   
          Jakarta, Nov 26 (Antara) -- Trafficking of narcotics in the country has turned into a very serious and dangerous problem as it has entered strategic institutions, including universities, which determine the quality and future of the nation.
         At least three universities have been involved so far: In March, a lecturer of the University of North Sumatra (USU) was arrested for being in possession of narcotics. In August, police nabbed an alumnus of the National University of Jakarta (Unas) for distributing narcotics to users in the campus. Soon after, they conducted several searches and found drugs in the campus once again.
         Moreover, the public were surprised when police arrested a faculty of law professor, who is also an assistant rector, of the Hasanuddin University (Unhas) in Makassar, South Sulawesi, some two weeks ago.
         The professor was apprehended on charges of consuming methamphetamine with two female students in a hotel room.
         Chairman of the Anti-Narcotics Movement Center of the Indonesian Ulemas Council (MUI) Anwar Abbas expressed concern over the involvement of the professor in the narcotics case.

Selasa, 25 November 2014

GOLKAR SHOULD DEMONSTRATE MATURITY IN RESOLVING INTERNAL RIFT

By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, Nov 26 (Antara) - As one of the oldest political parties and former political machine of the New Order Government, Golkar should demonstrate a mature outlook in dealing with internal issues and resolving internal conflict.
         "Friends in Golkar are all mature cadres. They should not quarrel. Internal issues should be settled democratically. Neither side should exert pressure on the other," Vice President Jusuf Kalla, who is also a former general chairman of the Golkar Party, stated here on Tuesday in response to the internal squabbles over differences of opinions related to the holding of a congress to elect a general chairman.
          Members of the youth wing of Golkar (AMPG) stormed into a Golkar Party central executive board meeting in Jakarta on Monday evening to protest against the meeting's attempt to re-schedule its congress from the previously planned January 2015 to the end of this month. The congress will be held to choose a new leader after the incumbent Aburizal Bakri, who seeks re-election, completes his term of office.
          Clashes erupted again on Tuesday between the members of two camps of the party at its office in Jalan Anggrek Neli Murni, West Jakarta.
          The conflict broke out after the Golkar central executive board plenary meeting chaired by Golkar Deputy General Chairman Theo L. Sambuaga decided that the congress would be held on November 30, 2014.

GOVT RESOLVED TO MEET TAX REVENUE TARGET

 By Andi Abdussalam 
          Jakarta, Nov 25 (Antara) -- In the last decade, the Indonesian government always failed to achieve its tax revenue targets, except for in 2004 and 2008, and it is unlikely to be able to do so this year as well.
         Of the Rp1,246.1 trillion tax target set in the revised 2014 state budget, only some Rp812 trillion has been collected till mid-November, which is about 65 percent of the amount. Also, the annual growth trend of the government's tax target is only 10 to 20 percent.
         The realization of its tax receipts has always been less than the target set in the state budget. Given this fact, the government is resolved to achieve its tax target for 2015, which is projected at Rp1,370.8 trillion.
         According to Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro, the government will put in all efforts to boost tax revenues to Rp1,400 trillion in 2015.
        "Certain factors must be improved to reinforce the directorate general of taxation. We will see whether it can be done next year," the finance minister said on Friday.
         He stated that a measure that could be taken is increasing the number of tax officers because so far, a shortage of these officials has hampered the efforts to optimize tax collection.    

JAKARTA INTENSIFIES FLOOD-FIGHTING EFFORTS

 By Andi Abdussalam
    Jakarta, Nov 25 (Antara) - Last week's floods that forced the evacuation of over 17,500 people in Jakarta could just be the beginning of a series of floods that might hit the capital city this rainy season, just like every year.
         "It has been predicted that more floods will hit Jakarta because the city and its surrounding areas are still receiving heavy rainfall," Endang Achdiat, the head of the Jakarta Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD), said on Monday.
         As the threat of another flood looms over Jakarta due to the unrelenting rains that continue to hit the capital city, Endang expressed hope that residents in low-lying areas would remain alert.
         Earlier, the Governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, urged all staff members to accurately anticipate floods in several areas of the city.
         "I have asked them, especially Jakarta's Department of Public Works, to analyze and survey community units that are prone to flooding," he noted.
         According to Purnama, floods can be handled properly and anticipated well in time through analysis and data collection.
         "If we are already aware of areas prone to flooding, we can quickly anticipate them and distribute aid," he affirmed.

Senin, 24 November 2014

LEGISLATORS PROCEED WITH ATTEMPT TO QUESTION PRESIDENT

  By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, Nov 24 (Antara) -- The government's decision to raise the prices of subsidized fuels when the world crude price is on the decline has led to certain legislators deciding to use the parliamentary interpellation right to question the president.
         The government hopes that raising subsidized fuel prices will help reduce energy subsidy, which burdens the state budget, by some Rp100 trillion, funds that it can divert to finance the development of the sectors of infrastructure, health, education, and other productive ones.
         However, legislators and many other quarters questioned the policy as the government implemented it during a time when world crude prices were declining.
         On November 17, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) announced the increase in the price of premium gasoline to Rp8.5 thousand per liter from Rp6.5 thousand and that of automotive diesel oil to Rp7.5 thousand per liter from Rp5.5 thousand.